CITIZENS COMPASS —The Oyo State House of Assembly has reportedly stopped the conduct of the fresh election for the appointment of the Iyaloja-General of the state.
It was learnt that the State Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives has concluded a plan to organize a fresh election but was resisted by the supporters of Alhaja Saratu Aduke Konibaje.
They argued that Konibaje has been duly elected by the majority of traders in the state.
However, another faction has thrown their weight behind Princess Folashade Abeo as Iyaloja General.
This development has sparked off a crisis at the various markets across the state.
The situation, as reliably informed, has led to the swift intervention of the leadership of the Assembly led by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin alongside his Deputy, Hon. Muhammed Fadeyi and a host of others.
Some lawmakers at the meeting described the call for another election as an injustice and misguided attempt to silence the voice of the majority who freely chose and aligned themselves with Saratu Konibaje in the April, 2022 contest,” said a source at the meeting.
A source at the ministry also told our reporter that “Princess Folashade Abeo could not get the needed support and majority she was looking for, hence the need to agree on postponement.”
The lawmakers were given copies of the court judgment stating that no traditional ruler in the state can install Iyaloja or Babaloja for the traders.
The leadership crisis between the contenders for the post of Iyaloja leaked recently, when 10 of the 12 leaders of the Oyo State Markets’ Association sent an open letter to the Governor of the State, Engr Seyi Makinde chronicling the process that led to the election and nomination of Alhaja Saratu Aduke Konibaje as Iyaloja-General of the state.
In the said open letter dated November 20, 2023, the leaders appealed to the State Governor to ensure immediate ratification of the nomination cum election of Alhaja Saratu Aduke Konibaje as Iyaloja-General of the state.
Titled ‘Appeal for prompt ratification of nomination of Alhaja Saratu Aduke Konibaje as Iyaloja-General of Oyo State’, the letter to the Governor was jointly signed by the Oyo State Market Leaders’ Council including their President, Alhaji Dauda Abiodun Oladepo; the Vice President, Mogaji Salaudeen Qarmardeen; the Second Vice President, Chief Mrs. Stella Olabode; the Financial Secretary, Chief Mrs Labake Lawal and the Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Yisau Kolayode Hamzat;
Others were both Ex-Officios; Alhaja Hamdalat Iyadunni Lawal and Alhaji Azeez Amole Najimdeen; alongside three other members, Chief Mrs Odunayo Kayode Danjuma; Alhaji Malik Adebayo Babasale and Alhaja Fausat Adebiyi, respectively.
Only the Treasurer, Chief Mrs Juliana Titilayo Raimi and a member, Alhaji Sunmaila Aderemi Jimoh did not sign the document sent to the Governor.
A member of the group, Chief Folorunso Adegbite who hailed the stoppage of fresh election , urged Governor Makinde to walk his talk and direct the ministry to issue a certificate of recognition to Saratu Aduke Konibaje.
He said there was no need for another election since the election that led to the emergence of Konibaje as the Iyaloja-General of the state followed due process.
Sources said some people are seeking cancellation of Konibaje’s election and conducting of fresh election of Iyaloja-General of Oyo State
But the market leaders said conducting another election would amount to a waste of time, saying Konibaje, who had majority votes at the last election remained the people’s choice.
“There is no need for another election because the one that produced Konibaje followed due process and was supervised by government agencies.”
Adegbite however thanked the Governor and the state House of Assembly for their intervention over the tussle of the Iyaloja-General of the state.